Written by Sydney Winders, MT-BC, AMTAS President-Elect
Released in 1972, “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers, is a soulful anthem. This track is listed as number five on the album Still Bill. “Lean On Me” is categorized under the singer-songwriter, soul music, R&B, and funk genres. Lyrics to this song can be found here.
In 2006, American Songwriter conducted an interview with Withers. When asked about the meaning of this song he responded, “The consistent kind of love is that kind that will make you go over and wipe mucus and saliva off somebody’s face after they become brain-dead,” he said. “Romantic love, you only wanna touch people because they’re pretty and they appeal to you physically. The more substantial kind of love is when you want to touch people and care for them when they’re at their worst,” (American Songwriters, 2021). Due to the nature of the simply beautiful melody, this message of authentic love has been uplifting many individuals.
Song themes that connect to what Withers describes as “more substantial love” include support, connection, community, forgiveness, friendship, trust, and caring. “Lean On Me” is an appropriate song to facilitate a song discussion / lyric analysis of these themes. Generally, the music and meaning of this tune could be accessible to many individuals and groups.
Additionally, “Lean On Me” has been known as an educational children's song and Black nationalism anthem (Genius, 2023).
Beviglia, J. (2021, August 2). Bill Withers, “Lean on me.” American Songwriter. https://americansongwriter.com/bill-withers-lean-on-me/
Bill Withers – Lean On Me. Genius. (2023). https://genius.com/Bill-withers-lean-on-me-lyrics
Hello, AMTAS! My name is Tess Vreeland, and I’m your secretary for the 2023 year. The purpose of this blog is to provide updates on AMTA regions, provide informative tools and information for furthering music therapy student careers, and promote collaboration among music therapy students across America. If you have any questions or any proposals regarding the blog, feel free to email me!
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